March 30, 2016

India's defence security space can grow like its automotive and service sector: BAE Systems

Pitching India’s capability to become a manufacturing hub for defence products, Alistair Castle, Vice President of BAE Systems India, said, “Automotive sector and service sector grew really quickly and demonstrated to the world what India is capable of. My observation is that similar growth will be seen in India’s defence security space.” Applauding the government for changing the business scenario of India, Castle told Economictimes.com, “An incredible change descends to the industrial base in India, which is nice. Moreover, India’s GDP growth levels also give confidence for doing business here.” Castle also appreciated the new defence procurement policy (DPP) that was unveiled at the Defence Expo by saying,
“My observation of the DPP is that there has been lot of thoughtfulness in terms of gathering information around that document. The new policy gives a great incentive to companies like BAE systems who want to do a long term business in India.” Speaking on BAE Systems’ ‘Make in India’ plans, Castle said, “We have selected Mahindra to be our partner for assembly, integration and test for M777 howitzer deal. We are now waiting to execute the deal.”
He also said that BAE’s products that were showcased at the Defence Expo were related to ‘Make in India’. Elaborating upon company’s future ‘Make in India’ plans, Castle said, “We have plans to develop Hawk fighter with our partner HAL for India, in India.” Castle went on to say how the company was eyeing the futuristic combat vehicle (FICV) programme, “BAE Systems have extremely high capability in FICV.
We will be using our Swedish business unit Haggulands for bidding that. The product will be something around CV90 vehicles. In that case, we will be looking to partner with large industrial entities here to actually bring out the technology.” On being asked about the company’s cyber security expansion plans in India, Castle said, “Cyber space and applied intelligence system is one of the fast growing divisions under BAE Systems. For India, we recognize there is a lot of raw potential for products of cyber security space.” Any message for the government then? Castle says, “The new defence procurement policy 2016 is very encouraging. My message would be to continue doing the same as it is a very positive signal for international business.


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